The death of the spare tire has been brewing for a while now. Manufacturers are under great pressure to raise their fuel mileage numbers and shaving weight off the car is a simple way to make it more efficient. Today you can see BMW, Volvo and Fords ditching the donuts in the back. Saving weight and increasing trunk space.
The replacement for your replacement? Run Flat tires and fix-a-flat cans. The reality of it is that most people never touch their spare tire. Almost every car we inventory has a fresh spare tire in it. People just do not want to sit on the side of the road and change a tire. It’s unsafe, messy and inconvenient.People want to be on the road, in their car, moving. They don’t want to be bothered by changing a tire.
With run flat tires, you may not even notice you have a flat. The sidewalls are built to support your car in the event of a tire blow out. Cars that come factory with run flat tires have suspension tuned for the stiffer sidewalls of run flats. They also come with tire pressure sensors to alert the driver. The downside? Run flat tires are almost twice the cost of a regular passenger tire giving the driver added maintenance costs.
The alternative to run flats is tire inflation systems. These inflation systems consist of a can of fix a flat like solution and an air compressor. The tire solution is blown into the tire and then the tire is filled with air. This is a cheaper alternative to run flats but it won’t fix all blow outs.
So beware for your next car purchase, if you work some where prone to flat tires (construction, road work, etc.) and need a spare, be sure to check the trunk before you buy a new car. Also ask what type of road side assistance is included with your warranty. Most manufacturers now offer free AAA like road side assistance for the length of your warranty. Its never a bad idea to explore all your options when it comes to keeping you and your family safe.